(This same post appears on my corner of BigSoccer’s Center Holds It page.)
“Lo, and the first among you shall be second, and the second first. The third only gets show…there’s only so much I can do.”
– God (OK, maybe not). Time, irrelevant.
That was one hell of a no-way weekend. I saw a few results/realities coming (e.g. FC Dallas would remain undefeated; New England would come out flat), but a couple results felt so weird, so-made-for-TV movie. How else to explain the league’s teams beat up on the good and the glamorous? Never mind explaining it: just enjoy! Seriously, your emotions are broken if they didn’t share some fraction of the giddy sensation Real Salt Lake must have felt upon being outright, undisputed badasses….if only for a day? The cat pictured at right knows all about that feeling.
All the same, a deeper sensation buzzes below the chatter. How many of this week’s games screamed one-off? How confident should any of us feel as we compile our rankings, no matter how we make our choices? (NOTE: My rankings are based on which team would beat any of those below on the coming weekend…with a pinch of my belief in their capacity for long-term success used for tie-breakers.) I know that’s not wisdom I’m feeling; it’s more like hoping no one thinks coin-flips make the foundation of these rankings.
In that spirit, let the record show I’m only confident about the placement of the bottom three. It’s basically a handful of mush after that…though I do think the top four would beat all comers #12-14, and everyone else (i.e. #5-11) in 7 games out of 10. That’s right now, though; down the road, I’m not so sure. Anyway, enough excuses. On to the numbers (last week’s rankings appear in parenthesis after the current ranking) – and, please add your own power rankings in the comments, if you’re so inclined:
1. (2) Chivas USA
I don’t usually read anyone else’s copy before compiling my rankings, but, this time, I read Fullback Files’ MLS dogpile and he summed up Chivas as #1 perfectly. Besides that, they scored some gorgeous goals against Columbus…shame they couldn’t make ‘em stand up.
2. (6) Chicago Fire
I’m aware this team is, essentially, doing what Colorado is doing. For whatever reason, I buy the Fire’s record. Maybe it’s simple as Chad Barrett scoring regularly…something that weird must have some kind of meaning.
3. (4) New England Revolution
I believe they were the better team, in spite of losing. And with the players they’re missing, plus the players they have? Yeah, I wrote ‘em off too soon.
4. (5) Colorado Rapids
What I think of New England notwithstanding, that was a hell of a result on the road. Actually, scratch that: because I think what I think of New England, that was a hell of a result on the road. I may not be sold…but I am listening to the pitch…
5. (1) Kansas City Wizards
Tough week; let’s see if it’s a revealing one (I think will prove one; there’s something about the Wizards, too). They’re here mainly on the theory there’s only so far one fall at any given time.
6. (3) DC United
That loss was an aberration. I’m not even going to qualify that, with an “I thought.” Still, says disturbing things about DC’s depth.
7. (8) FC Dallas
Dallas flattering to deceive; ah, it must be spring. Say what you like, but it’s likely to continue till spring ends.
8. (10) Columbus Crew
I keep bumping them up – partly out of hope, I should admit. Still, I’m almost as impressed by who they beat as I am by how. The system is there. The potential…eh, it comes and it goes.
9. (7) Red Bull New York
That 2-0 win over Columbus seems weeks ago, doesn’t it?
10. (9) Houston Dynamo
Do I really think they’re this bad, long-term I mean? Nah. But they are this bad right now. And they could remain bad. Weirder things have happened (see: Barrett, Chad; two goals in three games).
11. (12) Real Salt Lake
Tempted as I was to move them higher, something about that win felt lucky. That said, I’m thrilled they got it. And, yeah, I wish ‘em many, many more.
12. (14.) Toronto FC
If I could push them higher for pulling off the funniest result of the week, I would.
13. (11) LA Galaxy
The only reason they’re not on bottom: Sutton stood on his head against Donovan. That and the fact that beat the only team below a couple weeks back. That’s it, though.
14. (13) San Jose Earthquakes
I don’t know that they’ll stay here – as in, dead last. From what I gather, they pushed Chicago hard enough that I might be wise to keep some fresh ideas at the ready if their fortunes change. But they’re still an expansion team and they’re still 0-2-0 and goal-less.
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